One of my favorite topics: skincare!
I admit that as a teenager I escaped the horrors of puberty relatively unscathed in terms of issues with acne. Of course, I would get a small breakout here and there, but it was nothing compared to what plenty of others have to go through. I had a simple skincare routine of cleanser + moisturizer, and that was pretty much it! As a teenager, I was so happy that I had seemed to find a skincare routine that took minimal effort and was effective.
Cue hitting the ripe, old age of twenty-two.
I’ve heard the term ‘second puberty’ tossed around to describe the second wave of dealing with hormonal imbalances and the resulting onset of adult acne. In a cruel twist of fate, I found myself dealing with countless breakouts as well as uncommonly dry, sensitive skin that I had never encountered before. I was beside myself; I thought that I had figured my skin out! Now I have to find a new skincare routine? I have to try new products and hope that they don’t turn my skin into a blotchy, patchy mess? Yep.
And now, after several years of testing every kind of skincare ingredient under the sun, spending hours reading about what kinds of products I should be using and what the best brands out there are…..I have finally nailed down a routine that works for me!
And it is only eight steps.
Eight steps! Yes, my minimal skincare routine of the past and I were both quaking at the idea of spending that much time on my face in the morning when I had previously only allowed myself about 20 minutes to get ready in the morning. HOWEVER, I have found that this really only takes about five minutes, and the smooth, hydrated, and healthy way my face feels afterwards makes it entirely worth the effort. Plus, I just tell myself to imagine how youthful I will look ten years from now. See? Totally worth it.
And now, I introduce to you all….my Korean Beauty skincare routine for dry, acne-prone skin!
Yes, almost all of these products are K-beauty products. After spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on pricey creams and cleansers, I have found that the items that I have seen the best results with have all been K-beauty products with the notable perk being that they are all pretty budget-friendly and last a long time!
I am not Korean nor am I a skincare expert of any kind! I am just a person who has been desperately seeking out holy grail products for her face for the last five or six years.
Here is a breakdown of all of the products in my skincare arsenal along with clickable Amazon affiliate links so that you can purchase them easily and conveniently if you choose to do so!
This one was inspired by that one time I bought a sulfur-based face mask. Not only did it smell like rotten eggs (thanks, sulfur), but it also burned my skin on the spot that I had tested it. Ouch! Skincare products boast a wide range of ingredients that are said to be good for the skin, but I found that sulfur just was not meant for me.
Salicylic acid, however, most definitely is.
This cleanser is perfect for anyone with dry, sensitive skin. I find that a lot of cleansers really leave my skin feeling stripped and tight, but this one doesn’t. This is a cleanser that is great for battling/preventing acne as well, and I have been using it off-and-on for about two years now with great results! Every time I switch to a pricier cleanser, I always end up coming back to this one.
A K-beauty staple, if you will. Toner was the one thing in my skincare routine that I inexplicably would leave out for most of my life. I knew that toner was an incredibly important step that shouldn’t be left out of any skin care regimen, but I just never found a toner that I liked. Many of them would smell too much like rubbing alcohol, and I just didn’t want to put them on my face.
This one is completely different. This toner is gentle and scentless and has done wonders in terms of reducing any redness or uneven skin tone on my face. I highly recommend at least trying this one out! It comes in a standard bottle as well as a spray bottle!
Another CosRx pick (I really love their products). I am someone who has always been extremely skeptical when it comes to spot treatments. Oh, okay, so my pimple is going to evaporate instantaneously if I put this sticker on my face? Hmmm sure.
Well, I’m here to tell you the unfortunate news that there isn’t anything that will make your blemish disappear in an hour, but this spot treatment really does a good job of stopping them in their tracks once they have begun to pop up! This product is fantastic at drying out blemishes and halting their growth, and I have been honestly really, really happy with it. I just use a bit of this on the areas of my face that see the most breakouts—or anywhere where I may feel an oncoming blemish–, and I find that it manages my breakouts very well.
This is a cruelty-free, vegan hydration spray that I absolutely love! It is scentless and light and soaks into the skin very easily. I love to give myself a quick spritz throughout the day if I feel like I need a little bit of a refresher on my face!
I probably do not need to preach about the importance of SPF, but I’m going to do it anyways. Everyone. Must. Wear. Sunscreen. This is probably the most critical step in any skin care routine in terms of keeping your skin healthy and youthful—not to mention the benefits sunburn and skin cancer prevention!
This product is the only non-K-beauty product in my line-up, and I honestly think that any facial sunscreen (Read: NOT sunscreen for the body) could be used here. However, this sunscreen has been perfect for my dry skin. I have really benefited from the additional moisturizing effect that this provides.
The next product in the line-up is my personal favorite of them all! This is a moisturizer that boosts firming and plumping effects, and I stand by those promises! As a human in my twenties, anti-aging has become a focal point of my skincare world, and I really do think that this is a stellar anti-aging product.
It has a thin, slightly viscous texture that seems into the skin very quickly and leaves my face feeling so soft, smooth, and plump with a slight, natural shine. I have received numerous comments that my skin looks like it is glowing, and it is 100% due to this serum.
Another moisturizer in my routine for dry, sensitive skin. One issue that I have been dealing with or the past few years skin-wise is very, very dry skin. My skin has a tendency to get red and flaky, causing my makeup to cling to those dry spots and leave my skin looking ROUGH. I tried so many moisturizers, and nothing seemed to really moisturize and smooth out my skin. Then, in comes this Klairs moisturizer—a true blue while amongst the minnows of the moisturizer ocean.
Using this in combination with the NEOGEN serum has completely altered my skin texture. No longer is my skin dry, flaky, and irritated. It is smooth, plump, and happy. One concern I always have when introducing my face to new moisturizers is how heavy that product is and whether or not it will break me out. I’m pleased to say that this is a very lightweight moisturizer despite the heavy punch it packs. Moreover, I didn’t experience any noticeable breakouts when I started using this cream. Overall, it has been such a life changer!
Rounding out this list is an eye cream. Similar to the SPF, I think that any eye cream will do. It all depends on what you are looking for!
Personally, I wanted an eye cream that could combat puffiness and dark circle—both of which I have been plagued by all my life. This product boasts an anti-aging and hydrating formula that is meant to de-puff the area around your eyes and prevent fine lines from forming; and so far I have been really enjoying it! My eyes look much less puffy in the mornings than they have in the past, and any fine line prevention is just a bonus perk! Again, there are tons of great eye creams on the market, but if you are looking for one that does everything I have mentioned at a reasonable price, look no further!
And there you have it! An eight step skincare routine filled with glorious K-beauty products that anyone can follow. Again, the routine includes a lot of products, but it really only takes me a few minutes to execute; especially if you have something to fan your face with to help the products dry a bit more quickly between each step.
Though it seems like it may be a wallet-buster to purchase all new skincare products, these are all quite affordable while requiring only small amounts to be applied to the face. I bought my most recent batch of these products three months ago, and I’m still going strong! This is just my morning skincare routine. If you’re interested in seeing my nighttime routine or any of the extra goodies I use once or twice a week, please let me know!
What are your skincare holy grails? Any horror stories from new products that went very, very wrong? Let me know below!